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Introducing Chef Anthony Gray

Libby Wiersema Libby Wiersema
Libby Wiersema lived in California and Alabama before settling in South Carolina 35 years ago, where she's covered the state's best culinary offerings and tells the stories behind the food.
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Portrait of Chef Anthony Gray
Chef Anthony Gray helms the kitchen at Stella's Southern Brasserie.

All the hunting and cooking he did as a boy certainly helped lay the groundwork for Chef Anthony Gray's career path. As partner and executive chef of Stella's Southern Brasserie in Greenville, his daily grind pivots around the careful curating of ingredients. Gray's creations take centerstage on the Stella's menu of inspired dishes, which features plenty of locally sourced products.

 

Plate of grilled fish with vegetables and rice
Dishes at Stella's showcase fresh ingredients, some of them foraged by Chef Anthony Gray.

Approach

When it comes to planning the menu at Stella's, the seasons are in charge. This allows Gray to put South Carolina's freshest agricultural products in the spotlight. Every ingredient gets special attention according to his vision for the restaurant. His locavore aesthetic is especially reflected in foraged ingredients like mushrooms, ramps and greens he gathers from the great outdoors. 

 

Dining room at Stella's Southern Brasserie
Stella's Southern Brasserie offers elegant dining and inspired dishes by Chef Anthony Gray.

Backstory

Born and raised in Georgia, Gray got a taste for Southern cooking at an early age. But it was his decision to seek formal training at Johnson & Wales in Charleston that set him firmly on the trajectory to chefdom.

While there, he had the good fortune of meeting South Carolina legend, Chef Frank Lee, who hired Gray to assist in the kitchen of Slightly North of Broad. Gray soaked up every bit of Lee's guidance and eventually was named sous chef of High Cotton, another iconic restaurant in the historic city. There he developed his expertise so impressively, he soon moved to the top of the class with executive chef positions at High Cotton in both Charleston and Greenville.

In 2011, he took the helm at Southern Art in Atlanta and was named one of the city's "Rising Star Chefs." But South Carolina beckoned him back. Gray returned to Greenville, where he and a few business colleagues opened Bacon Bros. in 2013. In 2020, he moved on to helm operations at Stella's, which enjoys a reputation for serving outstanding cuisine in elegant surroundings.

Libby Wiersema
Libby Wiersema lived in California and Alabama before settling in South Carolina 35 years ago, where she's covered the state's best culinary offerings and tells the stories behind the food.